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Healthcare Career A Match For Manchester MBA And MD!

Recent Manchester MBA graduate Basit Altaf is combining his MBA and medical experiences into a healthcare career!

Fri Jul 26 2013

Manchester MBA Basit Altaf, who also holds a medical degree and a Master’s in Public Health, has always been interested in leveraging his diverse backgrounds in order to improve processes and strategies, whether in hospitals or healthcare corporations such as Johnson & Johnson where he interned.
Altaf worked as a summer Business School Associate at Johnson & Johnson in Dubai, which allowed him to combine his skills learned at Manchester with this medical knowledge.
“I found that having a medical perspective and an MBA is quite a unique proposition,” Altaf said. “I really wanted to work for a global corporate group such as Johnson & Johnson in creating implemental strategy that is quite interesting in emerging markets.”
Working in an emerging market such as Dubai, Altaf said, allowed him to play a major part in the market’s overall direction (in comparison to working in established healthcare industries in the US or UK). Another plus about working in Dubai? “It was quite nice to finally get a bit of sun over in Dubai,” Altaf.
Altaf, who just graduated from Manchester this summer, is staying in the healthcare field because he said it is an ever-expanding industry with many opportunities. He said that his medical background and his Manchester MBA caught the attention of a few pharmaceutical companies! But even if an MBA doesn’t have a medical background and is looking to enter healthcare, he or she shouldn’t give up hope.
“If you don’t have experience in biosciences or the medical field, there is going to be a steep learning curve; to a certain extent, companies expect you to have a fair idea of products to discuss with clients,” Altaf said. “But if you don’t have that background, definitely join the healthcare club at your university and, if you don’t have one, it would be an attractive feature to found one within your university.”
Altaf said he is glad he chose to expand his knowledge with an MBA, and specifically found his experience at Manchester worthwhile. One of the main reasons he attended Manchester, he said, was the school’s learning-by-doing methodology, which challenges students to put into practice the theory that they learned through real and live consulting projects. For example, Altaf worked on a US entry strategy for a major European-based telecom company, traveling extensively throughout the US as part of this.
Altaf also got another chance to travel around the US when he did an MBA exchange program at Cornell’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management for four months. He said he traveled on most weekends with other exchange students to Canada, New York City and Boston.
One of the unique features about Cornell that Altaf said he enjoyed is that b-school students can take courses anywhere in the university, not just in the business school, so Altaf took an international relations course while there. Gaining well-rounded experiences and knowledge such as this was the major reason Altaf pursued an MBA after his medical degree – and it paid off!
“I felt that, as a doctor, I could influence one person at a time; but if I worked for a large healthcare company, I could make positive changes that would influence many more people,” Altaf said. “An MBA would provide me with the platform and the skills from which to do this.”